Be Your own Bandcamp – how to use your website to promote and sell your music
by James Thornhill
What the news of half of Bandcamp’s staff being laid-off after its acquisition by Songtradr means exactly is still unknown, but many independent music artists and labels are worried about the loss of the best platform for them to promote and sell their music.
It’s another example of artists realising just how little control they have when relying on platforms owned by others, and why they should have as much control of their digital world as possible?
Bandcamp brought together a storefront, marketing tool and music showcase (audio and video) in one simple-to-use place for independent artists and labels like no other platform has.
So. How can Bandtheme even start to recreate what Bandcamp has done so successfully up to this point?
With the enormous catalogue and showcasing of related releases, the vast highly engaged communities, plus the amazing curation from the team at Bandcamp Daily (which lost all its staff) which will be lost should everything collapse…
Let’s be honest – you can’t do everything to exactly mimic Bandcamp with Bandtheme.
But, thanks to the functionality of Bandtheme’s WordPress theme for bands and musicians there is so much you can do to display, promote and sell your music under your own control.
How can I promote and sell my music using Bandtheme?
Bandtheme was created with how musicians, bands and record labels can best showcase and sell their music in mind. Our themes and in-built editor are packed with tools and features that will help you turn your website into the kind of shopfront that Bandcamp offers.
What is on offer?
Everyone likes to try before they buy and being able to hear the music is essential. Bandtheme is intuitive with embed and iframe codes from your preferred streaming service (Spotify, Soundcloud, Tidal, Apple Music), giving your fans the chance to stream directly from your website. If you want to include an MP3 player it works in the same way.
People will come to your site in different ways, looking for different things and this flexible promo section gives you the ability to highlight special events, products or releases. Put what you want to sell front and centre with ease.
Now to the most important part. To sell your music you need a simple and quality digital storefront. Bandtheme comes fully integrated with WooCommerce and all its functionality. If you already have a store provider (like Shopify) we’ve got you covered as well: simply showcase the products and link through to your store. It is easy to sell your music and merch using Bandtheme.
Building a community is vital if you want to keep selling to the fans you already have and create new ones! Bandtheme has simple options to add mailing list sign-up forms from your chosen provider (for example Mailchimp) on any part of the site with a simple embed code. When it comes to sales data woocommerce (which we already said we integrate with) offers excellent customer data that can be used for marketing. Email marketing providers offer a range of tools to collect and send marketing materials to your customers.
Building and maintaining contact with your own mailing list is a powerful tool that Bandtheme offers solutions to make easy.
A key way to make your music known by more people is media coverage and you need journalists, radio and podcasters to be able to find everything they need as quickly and easily as possible. Bandtheme helps you to create an impressive electronic press kit (EPK) with a range of options. Here’s a great example of a Bandtheme-created EPK for electronic dance music DJ / producer Aubrey Fry which utilisises all the features on offer.
Read our blog post on How to create an EPK for your music
One of the key benefits of Bandcamp was the ability to explore more of a band, through their releases and also music videos from the one profile. Bandtheme allows you to stream your music videos via Youtube in a range of different layouts. You can also increase your Youtube subscribers by connecting a Youtube channel subscribe button.
This is not necessarily a quick solution but using the tools available and capturing your existing fans on your own website will allow artists to control their own marketing, sales and fan community regardless of what happens with technology.
While the tech changes and third party platforms come and go, with your own music website, you will be in control of where, when and how you sell your music to your fans, and that can only be a positive thing!